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The Sons Of Hollywood


Another morning, another day of Hollywood fallout. First came the news last week that four veteran officers in the Hollywood P.D. had become ensnared in an FBI sting. The four believed they were protecting a mob family from New York and helping it run heroin when really the wiseguys were federal agents. Then came the news that the Bureau was none too pleased about an apparent leak in the department that blew the investigation. Who was the leaker? None other than Hollywood Police Chief James Scarberry, who admitted to the Miami Herald that he told at least eight city officials about the investigation.

The FBI is now investigating Scarberry's actions. The chief meanwhile is defending the leaks and his department is rallying around him.

That's where we stood this morning when I chatted with Jim DeFede on his 940-AM radio show about the scandal. Jim pointed out that either Scarberry either intentionally exposed the operation (which would be illegal) or he

unintentionally did so (which would be incompetent at best). He asked me what Mayor Mara Giulianti was going to do about it. I told him not to expect much since accountability is hard to come by.

Then I remembered something, during a commercial break, that hasn't been mentioned during this latest scandal: The police chief's son, Jason Scarberry, worked for Mara Giulianti's son, Stacey. Scarberry, a lawyer, was hired by Stacey Giulianti and now-disgraced former city commissioner Keith Wasserstrom as an associate at their now infamous law firm. Wassserstrom, of course, is awaiting trial on corruption charges for cutting a deal that benefited the firm with sewage company Schwing Bioset even as he pushed a contract for Schwing through his own city.

So here you have the two major Hollywood scandals colliding at a corrupt, politically connected law firm. I'm not saying that Jason Scarberry had anything to do with the corruption. I have no evidence that he did. What one can reasonably speculate, though, is that he was privy to some of the law firm's dealings, which leads to the question: What does team Scarberry, father and son, have on the Giuliantis? And might the answer of that question keep the mayor -- and ultimately the city -- from taking action against the police chief for exposing a federal investigation into the department?

Again, this is speculation. But the incestuous web alone is symbolic of the deep problems running through Hollywood, a town with its wheels coming off.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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